A finger painting is taped to a door of the hutch in my home office. Next to my laptop is a small wind-up toy monkey that swings on his knuckles across my desk. A little over two years ago my man-cave resembled a well-ordered English gentleman’s club. Our goddaughter had yet to be born, though! So, my bookshelves were exclusively filled with stodgy political and historical titles. The trinkets on the polished desktop were all in their proper places. And, most importantly, the green shade on my banker’s lamp was tilted just so.
Donna and I have been godparents to our niece, Sara, for a little over two years. The Amish pie safe which once held Donna’s linens and tablecloths now is filled with blocks, broken crayons, and various species of stuffed animals. The trinkets and lamp on my desk are now precisely where Sara has determined they would look their best – until her next visit. My library collection has expanded and now includes such titles as Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, Dora’s Halloween Adventure, and Baby Animals. We’ll likely be adding a new pop-up book wing next spring, as well!
I have come to realize that what I thought was order was just routine. Our faith, too, can become mere routine when it should be an ever-renewing adventure. We can attend the same Mass, sit in the same spot, and mumble the same words week after week. Our senses are dulled to the awesomeness in the ordinary. The Church understands this when she celebrates “ordinary time”. There is nothing routine or unimportant during that time. Those weeks are ordained by God to be embraced and lived to the fullest. Every day is a new creation and every Mass is Calvary. We have lost our perspective because we have lost the wonder of childhood.
G. K. Chesterton has this beautiful insight on children:
[Children] often say, “Do it again”; and the grown up person does it again till he is nearly dead. For grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps, God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but never got tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
Donna and I have set aside our old routine since we were blessed by the birth of our niece. We were so much older then. We’re younger than that now.